Championship Skating with the BBC – Cambridge Filmworks have once again teamed up with the BBC to cover Fen Skaters wining National medals at the first ever British Longtrack Championships (in Holland!)
Malcolm Robinson and David Smith both of Sutton, Cambridgeshire took silver and bronze respectively in the first ever British Longtrack Ice Speed Skating Championship held Holland over the weekend (March 28th 2015).
There hasn’t been any Fen Skating racing held in The Fens since 2009 so this year NISA (National Ice Skating Association – inaugurated in Cambridge in 1879) held the first ever British Long Track Speed Skating Championships on a 400m artificially frozen ice rink at the De Uitholf Stadium in The Hague, Holland.
A number of Fen Skaters including David Smith and Malcolm Robinson (both from Sutton, Cambs) made the journey to represent Fenland in this inaugural event. The Championship was run along Olympic guidelines with distances from sprint (500m) through to 5000m. David Smith opted to skate the 500m and 5000m and although he didn’t make the podium in the 500m he took bronze in the 5000m. Malcolm Robinson opted to skate just the 5000m, taking silver, narrowly missing out on the title to Scotland’s Alan Dobbie.
This event marks the culmination of the first full year of efforts to rebuild Long Track speed skating in the UK, a year which has seen numbers swell from a handful to over 35, British records broken and Great Britain represented at the European Youth Championships.
The UK doesn’t have a 400m artificially frozen ice rink (Holland has 14) however just over 100 years ago Fen Skaters were amongst the fastest ice speed skaters in the world. James Smart of Welney won the World Championship in Holland back in the 1890’s. Fen skaters are now hoping that they may soon have their own 400m artificially frozen ice rink in Cambridgeshire if a new project in Littleport gets off the grounds – and maybe a chance once again to become competitive internationally at sport they once dominated.
To learn more please visit:
The British Longtrack Championships Facebook page:
Littleport 400m Ice Rink Project: